4 Ways to Improve SEO in 2018
December 20, 2017 / Danielle Dean
Breaking: The SEO landscape has changed dramatically over the years and will continue to do so in 2018.
Read time: 3 minutes, 40 seconds
It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that the SEO landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years. Many methods and techniques that were once considered bulletproof are now essentially useless, and with each new algorithm update, there seems to be a new set of “rules” to learn just to remain competitive in terms of search engine ranking. If you’re concerned about what types of adjustments you might need to make to bolster your search engine visibility in the New Year, keep the following points in mind to help you improve your SEO for 2018.
1. Think mobile first.
Roughly one year ago, Google announced their intentions to make their index “mobile-first,” which means that the search engine giant will give more weight to the mobile version of your site instead of its traditional (i.e. desktop) counterpart. This only makes sense, because well over half of all Internet searches performed today are initiated from mobile devices. What this means for site developers is that if they haven’t yet fleshed out how their site will look and behave on mobile devices, they’re going to be fighting an uphill battle in terms of achieving favorable search engine rankings. Along with testing your website for responsiveness and small-screen usability, be sure to pay attention to speed as well, as slow loading times can put a damper on the “rankability” of your site.
2. Create more video content.
Online video is far and away the most popular type of content on the Internet, and if Cisco’s well-informed prediction is correct, video will make up roughly 80% of all Web traffic by the year 2021. If you’re looking to maintain your competitive edge in the crowded online marketing space, you absolutely must include video content creation in your marketing mix – in fact, video should be one of your main areas of focus for the New Year. Of course, you can’t talk about online video without mentioning YouTube, as it is the 800 lb. gorilla of the video sharing world. Also keep in mind that YouTube is the number-two search engine in the world behind Google, which means that there is an absolute gold mine of SEO value in creating content specifically for this platform. To top it all off, Google owns YouTube, and as can be expected, it tends to favor YouTube videos over visual content from other platforms (think Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc.) in its search results. Bottom line, if you’re looking to supercharge your SEO traffic in 2018, you cannot afford to ignore creating video content that is geared towards the massive audience on YouTube.
3. Don’t ignore long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords refer to those search keywords and phrases that are slightly more specific, and typically lengthier than their shorter (and more generic) counterparts. Generally speaking, long tail keywords will provide less traffic, but the visitors that you receive from long tail searches will usually convert at a higher rate. For example, a keyword search for “girls Nike shoes under $50” has a much higher likelihood of converting than the more generic phrase “girls shoes.” Optimizing your content and link building for long tail keywords can enable you to rank higher in the search engines for less competitive keywords.
4. Never forget: It’s all about content and backlinks.
There’s a reason why the phrase “Content is king” has become such a well-worn axiom – in the realm of SEO, it’s the absolute gospel truth. In fact, Andrey Lipattsev, Google Ireland’s own Senior Strategist of Search Quality, said just as much during a live Q & A session held last year by WebPromo. During the enlightening session (the transcript can be found here), Lipattsev remarked that content and backlinks are the top two factors that determine search engine rankings. The word “backlinks” refers to links pointing to your website from external web pages, and as many seasoned SEOs can attest, they are perhaps the most important off-page ranking factor in existence. From Google’s inception, they have emphasized that content and backlinks are two of the most critical components of their ranking formula, and although there have been many algorithmic changes over the years, these two foundational elements remain at the top of the list for serious SEOs.
The SEO space always seems to remain in a state of flux, but you don’t have to feel like you’re always behind the curve. Put the above tips into practice to see your SEO efforts flourish in 2018.